1940 College Basketball Recap
One era passed and another began during the 1939?40 season.
Dr. James Naismith died on Nov.28, 1939, nearly 50 years after inventing the game and three years after seeing it gain worldwide acceptance as an Olympic sport at the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin.
Exactly three months later, on Feb.28, 1940, college basketball appeared on television for the first time when experimental station W2XBS in New York televised a Pitt-Fordham and Georgetown-NYU doubleheader at Madison Square Garden.
Indiana finished second to Purdue in the Big Ten, but district officials sent the Hoosiers to the NCAA tournament because of their two regular season wins against the Boilermakers. Good choice. Indiana, led by All-America guard Marv Huffman, won the eight-team tournament, beating Big Six representative Kansas by 18 in the final. NCAA moved the Final Two to Kansas City in search of more exposure.
Colorado and Duquesne, both early round losers in the NCAAs, went to New York and ended up meeting in the NIT final. The Buffaloes won, 51?40.